Sands Online Casino PA Review
We are seeing online gambling, whether in the form online casinos, mobile sportsbooks or online poker rooms, spreading across the United States like wildfire. Nevada and New Jersey already have established online gaming markets and Michigan and New York are well on their way to have legalized and regulated online casinos. Pennsylvania is the fourth state to offer legal online gambling and currently hosts three physical sportsbooks. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has awarded nine licenses for online casinos, with all of them set to launch between early to mid-2019.
Sands Bethlehem currently holds one of these licenses but in their case it’s more a case of “if” rather than “when” they will their online casino. If you have been following the news surrounding PA’s online casinos you will already know that that these licenses don’t come cheap and can cost up to $10 million.
So, what is the cause of the potential loss of $10 million?
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Mr. Adelson is the billionaire owner of the Sands Gaming Group. And a staunch advocate against online gaming and online casinos. In fact, so vehement is Sheldon Adelson in his beliefs that he is not only dead set against there ever being a Sands Online Casino but he has been fighting tooth and nail to shut down online gambling in the country as a whole.
Adelson may have already made a fatal mistake in his battle against online gaming – as he sold Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem for $1.3 billion to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ Wind Creek Hospitality.
As part of the sales agreement, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation found itself having to apply for an online gaming license. Adding insult to injury, the PGCB approved their application.
In this preview, we will look at what we can expect from Sands Bethlehem Online Casino if the new owners decide to take advantage of the online gaming license they have already been granted.
An online casino’s success is built on a solid foundation. And as with anything that operates online, that foundation is software. As we have seen in Nevada and New Jersey, for an online casino to even be considered competitive, it must compete on two fronts – as desktop website and as a mobile gaming app for players who prefer to play on the move.
As of early January 2019, Sands Pennsylvania is the only PA online casino to have not entered into an agreement with a mobile software specialist. While this has raised many eyebrows and had critics chastising the brand as if there will not be a Sands Online Casino mobile app.
However, we are confident that the new owners are patiently waiting for the sale to go through before they make any such announcement. In fact, we would not be at all surprised if a deal has already been concluded and an announcement regarding this will be made at the same press conference announcing the conclusion of the deal with Wind Creek Hospitality and the news that they will be launching an addition to the current collection of PA online casinos despite the wishes of Sheldon Adelson.
Sands Casino Gaming Selection
For Sands Online Casino to be competitive and one of the more popular regulated online casinos in PA they will have to have a games library with hundreds of titles. What would undoubtedly give them a competitive edge over the competition would be to partner with one of the premier online gaming developers, like NetEnt or IGN, and develop several exclusive games. Exclusive titles would set Sands Online Casino from the rest of the pack and provide gamers with a compelling reason to play at their online casino rather any of Pennsylvania’s other online casinos.
Players can expect Sands Online Casino PA to have a collection of games consisting of slots, table games, video poker, live dealer games possibly even virtual sports betting (more of that later).
One can’t help feeling that the PGCB played themselves with an exorbitant tax rate of 54% on the revenue generated by online slots. Such a tax rate is sure to see Sands and every other online casino in Pennsylvania develop promotions based on online table games, video poker, live dealer games, and virtual sports betting rather than on slots. This would also give PA online casinos a different flavor to those in other states who tend to have slots-based focus.
When it comes to online blackjack, the digital version holds a distinct advantage over the traditional version found at physical casinos – players will never have to wait for a spot to open at a table. Blackjack fans playing at Sands Online Casino PA can be playing within a matter of moments. In fact, we can expect Sands Online Casino to have a number of tables, each offering a variation on the classic blackjack game.
You can expect to find the same variations of this classic game that just about every online casino in the United States offers – American Roulette and European Roulette. The only difference between these two variations is in the actual roulette wheel – the European version has a wheel that has a single zero slot while the American wheel has two zero slots. Since the zero slots belong to the house, players have a better chance of winning in games that use the European wheel. You can also expect Sands Online to offer blackjack variations with a unique feature, like perhaps a jackpot slot.
Thanks to the connection with Sands Bethlehem, video poker is a certainty at Sands Online Casino PA as it would be a direct translation to what is currently found on the floor at the brick-and-mortar Sands Bethlehem Casino PA.
Live Dealer Games
BetFair NJ and Golden Nugget NJ casinos in New Jersey have both been offering live dealer games for a while now and it has added significantly to their monthly revenue numbers. What makes live dealer gaming a near certainty at Sands Online Casino PA is the fact that Sands Bethlehem currently offers stadium gaming.
With stadium gaming, patrons sit at their own terminal and place wagers against games being dealt live by an actual dealer. In some games, the player is up against the dealer while in other iGames they will be playing against other players who are also playing from their own terminal. The only difference between this form of gaming and what players at Sands Online Casino will experience is that players are sitting in front of their computer or on their phone rather than on a terminal on the casino floor.
Virtual Sports Betting
With this new form of iGaming, players will bet on the outcome of a virtual sports game. Think of it as betting on a game of Madden with the gaming system controlling both sides. Players would be able to place all of the types of bets that they would be able to place on a live sporting event at either a physical sportsbook or via a mobile sports betting app.
Undoubtedly, one of the best features of the modern-day online casino is the ability to game anywhere at any time thanks to a mobile casino app. There isn’t an online casino in the United States that doesn’t have an have an app. Expect Sands Online Casino to offer an app for both Android and iOS users. The app should also offer a gaming library that consists of most, if not all of the games found on the full site. A welcome addition that not every mobile casino app currently offers is the ability to manage your account with features that allow you to deposit or withdraw funds and perhaps even lodge a complaint and contact the support team.
My Sands Rewards Program
Another area where the partnership with Sands Bethlehem can be expected to pay off big time is with their loyalty program – My Sands Rewards. The chances are that this will be used as is for Sands Online Casino’s loyalty program. If this does happen, online players will be able to earn rewards that they can use at the physical Sands Casino for discounts at the hotel, restaurants, spa, casino and more. Players can also look forward to special promos, early access to giveaways and more.
Players who have an issue or query should be able to find an answer using one of the following channels:
- Live chat with the support team
- Telephone hotline
- FAQ section on the casino’s website
Deposits & Withdrawals
Based on what most of today’s regulated online casinos offer, players should be able to deposit funds into their Sands Online Casino account using the following methods:
- Electronic checks
- Online banking transfers
- Cash at Sands Bethlehem cashier cage
Players should be able to make withdrawals using the following methods:
- Electronic check
- Check by mail
- Cash at the Sands Bethlehem cashier cage
- PayPal if the player previously used it as a deposit method
If Wind Creek Hospitality does make use of the online gaming license that they will receive when the sale of Sands Bethlehem is concluded, we can expect Sands Online Casino to quickly establish itself as one of Pennsylvania’s premier online casinos.